An actress was on set filming a scene that required another actor to push her, but no stunt coordinators, stunt actors, or spotters were around to ensure her safety. The director told the actor to push the actress with great force, which he did, causing her to fall to the ground and fracture her wrist. The actress’s injury required surgery.
Typically, an injury on the job would be covered through workers’ compensation. However here, the production company that hired the actress did not have workers’ compensation coverage, and so KTL filed a lawsuit against the production company, the production company’s owner, and the film’s director on the theory that they failed to properly train the actor on how to push the actress in the scene and failed to have proper safety measures in place to ensure the scene could proceed without injuries. All defendants refused to accept responsibility, and claimed that the other actor was at fault alone. Defendants further claimed they did not need to have workers’ compensation coverage for the actress because she was not an employee.
Despite the coverage issues and the liability issues presented by defendants, KTL took an aggressive approach to litigation by taking depositions and reviewing numerous documents. Ultimately, these efforts paid off as the defendants agreed to settle for $225,000.